Apple iPad costs $US260 to build, iSuppli finds

Apple's iPad costs as little as $US260 to build, according to a new analysis. Here's a piece-by-piece look at what's inside.

Depending upon your perspective, Apple's iPad may be priceless or it may be pointless. On a less subjective scale, however, we're getting a better idea of what exactly an iPad is worth -- when it comes to its components, at least.

So here it is: Apple's iPad costs as little as $US260 to build, according to a new teardown analysis by electronics research firm iSuppli. Ready for a piece-by-piece look at what's inside?

Apple iPad Component Costs

iSuppli dissected a 16GB Wi-Fi version of Apple's iPad, which currently sells for $US499. The iPad's total bill-of-materials -- that is, the cost of the components alone -- came out to $US250.60. Manufacturing expenses added about nine bucks to that amount, bringing the grand total to $259.60. Software, packaging, and other expenses were not factored into the analysis.

All right, onto the specifics: In a departure from the more typical notebook configuration, iSuppli found the iPad's primary costs to be tied to its user interface components as opposed to its motherboard and processor. The iPad's display is the single most expensive thing within its shiny shell: The display, made by LG, runs about $US65 -- a full quarter of the iPad's total hardware value.

Next is the iPad's touchscreen assembly, made by Wintek and estimated to be worth $US30. Then comes the iPad's flash memory -- worth about $29.50, for the 16GB version -- and its battery, a 3.75-volt lithium polymer pack valued at $21.

As for that processor, the iPad's A4 chip costs only $US19.50, according to iSuppli's teardown. It's designed by Apple-owned P.A. Semi and manufactured by Samsung.

For comparison's sake, the Apple iPhone 3G S -- taken apart by iSuppli last summer -- was found to have $US172.46 worth of raw materials. With an estimated manufacturing cost of $6.50, its grand total came to $178.96 -- about $80 or 31 percent less than the iPad.

Of course, only one of those two products is guaranteed to make great salsa.

JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the co-founder of eSarcasm. He's on Facebook: facebook.com/The.JR.Raphael

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags apple ipadiSuppli

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?